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Rahm Emanuel, tort reformer

Yes, that's one of those headlines that warrants two questions marks, an ellipsis and seven footnotes, but still...

Reviewing the voting record for President-elect Obama's designated chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, we see he has a few good votes on recent legal-reform votes. (This is the voting record on manufacturing-related issues as compiled by my employers, the National Association of Manufacturers.)

  • On February 17, 2005, he voted for final passage of S. 5, the Class Action Fairness Act, which passed 279-149.
  • On October 19, 2005, he voted for H.R. 554, to prevent frivolous litigation against the food industry, which passed 306-120.
  • And on June 12, 2003, he voted for H.R. 1115, that session's class-action lawsuit reform act, approved 253-170.

However, in the 109th session, he voted against several bills supported by business-minded legal reformers, including H.R. 5, federal medical liability reform; S. 397, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (Chicago political sensitivities there, since the city had sued gun manufacturers); and H.R. 420, Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act.

A political loyalist who judges votes on a case-by-case basis, who take great pains to prevent his boss from being damaged by a lurch to the left (as argues John Fund)? Seems like that's the best that tort-reform advocates in the business community could reasonably ask for.

At least John Edwards isn't going to be the attorney general.

(According to Indiana University's events calendar, Edwards is supposed to resurface this Tuesday to speak on the election. Hard to imagine such a quick rehabilitation.)

John Edwards Nov. 11, 7 p.m., IU Auditorium, Bloomington -- Former U.S. senator and presidential candidate John Edwards will speak about the Nov. 4 presidential election, focusing on what the results mean for America's political and economic future. Sen. Edwards will dissect the general election results and forecast how they will affect the state of political discourse, the American economy and the plight of working families. He will also weave stories from his experience running for president into his analysis, describing what it's like to be a major presidential candidate in today's accelerated political and media environment. A question-and-answer session will follow the lecture. For more information, contact ubpr@indiana.edu.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.